Valerie Coffin Price
My photographs illuminate an intimate experience with the subject, its unique properties and elements. Each photograph I take is depicted in clear, intricate detail, with forms, lines, and patterns precisely arranged within the composition. A consistent regard for clarity, tonal quality and the infinite nuance of detail pervades my work, this enables me freedom to achieve the images I desire.
Using a structured approach, I prefer to work in the special beauty of shaded light as sunshine creates shadows, highlights, and accents on the surface that commandeers the eye. I create photographs where the light appears invisible - so as to neutralize its role in the appearance of things. It allows the soul of a place to come forward and present itself in the photograph without directing attention through light and shadows to certain features within the scene.
Revering description, detail, tonality, and clarity I decided to use a cumbersome large format Deardorff field camera. It is a precision instrument that is based on early nineteenth century designs. Not considered in this day and age as a documentary photography tool, the negative area is ninety times the size of a negative created by a regular 35mm camera. Capturing a staggering amount of information that is not always apparent to the naked eye unless isolated by this technique. The more signals and information presented in my photographs, the more scope there is for visual and emotional interaction.
With the large format process I am able to point out elements in my photographs that may have been beyond my awareness at the time they were made. The large camera with its formality is a device that grants my subject matter dignity.
1974 Caerphilly, South Wales.
BA (hons) Documentary Photography, University of Wales, Newport.
BA (hons) Fine Art, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.